Content marketing is good for your soul — and your company’s, too

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Content marketing is a way to drive traffic to your site, get leads, and generate business, right? Well, sure. But if that’s all it is, it’s just inside-out advertising. No, I think there’s more to it than that. I’m considering this as I prepare for three upcoming conferences. Starting tomorrow, May 2, I’ll be at … Continued

My Bitcoin blackmail experience started with a well-written letter

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I got a Bitcoin blackmail letter in the mail on Saturday. They did a much better job than those Nigerian prince scams you get by email. Here’s the text of the letter: JOSHUA BERNOFF [my address] Hello Joshua, I’m going to cut to the chase. My name is RedDust~10 and I know about the secret … Continued

KFC answers the question: when are you allowed to be funny in a crisis?

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KFC ran out of chicken in the UK. They had to close their restaurants, and then explain themselves. They decided to poke fun at themselves . . . which is great, so long as nobody gets hurt. KFC suffered a distribution problem, which meant, basically, no chicken. Their first decision — to close the restaurants … Continued

I am your editor and I reject your apology

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When writers send me pieces to edit, they all seem to come with an apology. Your apology is meaningless to me. “I’m sorry this is so long.” “I’m sorry this isn’t better organized.” “I’m sorry this seems to wander around a bit.” I have one client who doesn’t apologize, but submits every piece with a … Continued

The SpaceX Tesla and the military parade are both legit branding exercises

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Yesterday, we learned about two promotional stunts, one executed and one planned. Elon Musk launched a Tesla Roadster into solar orbit and word leaked that Donald Trump and the U.S. military were planning a massive military parade. These are both branding exercises. What do they say about the brands they reflect? Sports cars in space … Continued

How Crock-Pot should defend itself from the “This Is Us” scriptwriters

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On the melodramatic NBC show “This Is Us,” a fire started by a slow-cooker burns the house down. This forced Crock-Pot, the iconic slow-cooker brand, to defend its reputation. Unlike most brands under attack, its response shows restraint. A little more wit would be even better. Crock-Pot defends its brand In the show, a second-hand … Continued

Newsjacking and other fruitful sources of content marketing ideas

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“What am I going to write about?” That’s the content marketer’s constant challenge. In fact, the number of sources is endless. You just have to have the right mindset. Let’s remember what content marketing is. While there are any number of definitions out there, I think of it very simply: Content marketing is sharing something … Continued